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Author Topic: Am I a horrible person because I am missing church  (Read 1643 times) Average Rating: 0
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Anastasia1
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« on: October 02, 2011, 07:30:35 AM »

Am I a horrible person because I am missing church for the second or third week in a row? It is 4:30 AM and I have to do well on a test this week and have only the weekend to study (this test is for a job, not a class that I can just get a C in).
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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2011, 08:07:44 AM »

I wouldn't call yourself horrible.  Smiley How about this: take time for church and study when you get back? Church is long but it's not the whole day. Spending time worshiping God will build up your personal strength.  Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2011, 08:17:32 AM »

I wouldn't call yourself horrible.  Smiley How about this: take time for church and study when you get back? Church is long but it's not the whole day. Spending time worshiping God will build up your personal strength.  Smiley
It will be hard to study on 4 hours of sleep.
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2011, 08:23:12 AM »

How about if I play a sermon online before bed?
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2011, 08:32:03 AM »

Go to Church to pray so you succeed to the test. This can really make a difference. Missing Church 3 times in a row, a canon said that there are some penalties. Can anyone say more about this canon? This canon is an ancient one .

Make sure you don't stay away from Church for 3 weeks in a row. If you study for interview search on google for questions- answers for domain you do interviewing or look on youtube for molvies with interviews. May God bless you and give you the desired job.
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2011, 08:34:34 AM »

Go to Church to pray so you succeed to the test. This can really make a difference. Missing Church 3 times in a row, a canon said that there are some penalties. Can anyone say more about this canon?
I'm not officially Orthodox, fwiw. I also honestly do not have the chance to make up for missing sleep as I am out 50 hours a week.
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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2011, 08:46:05 AM »

So you are trying to move to Eastern Orthodox from Armenian Orthodox?
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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2011, 08:49:08 AM »

So you are trying to move to Eastern Orthodox from Armenian Orthodox?
Huh? Isn't this a general Orthodox section, like for both to talk? I have not gotten chrismated yet. I should be studying Spanish, not Armenian. Sad (Hard to follow anything by the liturgy in the local Armenian church. If I go to this Armenian church, I will be stressed about the lack of study time before my study group, still get similarly little sleep and probably be rude about showing up late to sit through a sermon I understand five words of.) The Coptic church starts service in just over 2 hours (why I haven't been able to make it because I just can't be on time for an 8 AM service right now). The EOs near me start service in just over 4 hours. I don't care that much about the theological differences (and I am sure someone somewhere could lecture me about that beyond the lack of intercommunion).
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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2011, 08:54:04 AM »

It is and everyone is welcome to this forum. Just wanted to mention that Holy light did not come when Armenian Orthodox waited for it.

You can pray this:
Dear God, please save me and please show me the truth of all religions the way is in you eyes. Also please move me to the religions that is closer to you without pain or remorse or anything bad and please do the same with the other peoples too. Please give me what you know I need and please do the same with other people including my relatives. Amen.
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2011, 08:57:20 AM »

It is and everyone is welcome to this forum. Just wanted to mention that Holy light did not come when Armenian Orthodox waited for it.
?
The Armenian priest speaks more Eastern Armenian than English and the deacon I was talked with was re-assigned. I do not know of what you speak.
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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2011, 09:23:57 AM »

Go to Church to pray so you succeed to the test. This can really make a difference. Missing Church 3 times in a row, a canon said that there are some penalties. Can anyone say more about this canon? This canon is an ancient one.
2.  If committing a sin unto death (see above), or even if remaining uncorrected in “sin not unto death” as Scripture calls it, or if having missed Liturgy without a valid reason for more than three weeks (the local hierarch may narrow this time), on must partake of Confession and then approach.
Source: http://www.orthodox-christian-comment.co.uk/confession_communion_preparation_for_communion.htm

Make sure you don't stay away from Church for 3 weeks in a row. If you study for interview search on google for questions- answers for domain you do interviewing or look on youtube for molvies with interviews. May God bless you and give you the desired job.
I just realized that you wrote interview. This is NOT an interview. This is an academic test. I need to understand things like how reclaiming state income taxes from last year affect 2010 federal taxes and such, now how to pass an interview.


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« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2011, 10:41:01 AM »

I'm sure God understands if you miss Church once in a while.  He knows you and understands. 


Perhapse say a few prayers if you can or listen to some church-ey music as you study?

You'll be ok  Wink
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« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2011, 11:17:42 AM »

As a college teacher, I do understand your situation very well.

My advice: just look at an icon, cross yourself and say the "Heavenly King, the Comforter..." prayer. Then cross yourself again, sit down and study, study, study. Concentrate fully on your larning objectives, 100%.

Hopefully, there will be many more Sundays in your life when your academic stuff won't stress you all that much. Then, you wil be happy attending Divine Liturgies. Believe this old man, it will happen Smiley

Best wishes for your tests.
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« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2011, 11:49:02 AM »

Am I a horrible person because I am missing church for the second or third week in a row? It is 4:30 AM and I have to do well on a test this week and have only the weekend to study (this test is for a job, not a class that I can just get a C in).

St. Silouan the Athonite said: "Keep your mind in hell, and despair not."
You already are aware that it's not perfect if you don't go to church, now you also need to become aware that Christ's grace is always greater. So, despair not and look forward with joy to your next liturgy.
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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2011, 12:57:25 PM »

pasadi97, do you also pray the prayer that you have shared, asking to be led to the truth?
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« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2011, 01:42:13 PM »

In my completely unqualified opinion, it's not a good habit to get into. Church doesn't take that long. I'm of the opinion that no matter how busy you are, you should make it a point to always make it to Divine Liturgy even if you can't go to Vespers, Matins, etc., unless there are extraordinary circumstances.

Have you consulted your parish priest about this? He'd be able to give a more qualified answer.
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« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2011, 02:14:02 PM »

I understand that circumstances can prevent you from getting to liturgy. It's not a good habit to get into on a regular basis.

When I can' make it, I say some prayers - usually at least the trisagion, a couple of psalms, more honorable than the cherubim, maybe a few others.

Anyway, it's not the end of the world, but you should try to go when you do get the opportunity.
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« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2011, 05:47:30 PM »

pasadi97, do you also pray the prayer that you have shared, asking to be led to the truth?

Actually I did even if not in that form. I wanted to become protestant because I was thinking that God is in protestantism and that I should be where God is. Anyhow there was a problem as I did not buy 30 000 truths is the truth so I was praying to understand which denomination has the truth.

God told me, Orthodoxy is the true faith and this is why I am sending Holy Light there.

Then I wanted to present orthodoxy to a colleague and I did not have a case then I asked God to show me miracles so as to present a good case to him. I found many miracles and I could make a good presentation as a result of this prayer.
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« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2011, 05:54:19 PM »

Since then I heard about many people claiming to say similar prayers in which they asked God to led them to true faith in God eyes comming to eastern orthodoxy saying I had a revelation,  a dream that lead me to this Church. Or God told me as response to my prayer to come here. God has a sense of justice and he tells you what you are asking for. At the end of every request ask God so that the request turn helpful to you.

I am sure that if you ask God to move you without pain and with happiness this would happen.
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« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2011, 06:18:36 PM »

Myocn.net broadcasts the Divine Liturgy Live every Sunday at 9 AM Eastern Time if you cannot make it to Liturgy. Perhaps having this or some Orthodox chant CD's in the background would be edifying as you study.

May God bless you in your studies!
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« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2011, 09:42:01 PM »

Since then I heard about many people claiming to say similar prayers in which they asked God to led them to true faith in God eyes comming to eastern orthodoxy saying I had a revelation,  a dream that lead me to this Church. Or God told me as response to my prayer to come here. God has a sense of justice and he tells you what you are asking for. At the end of every request ask God so that the request turn helpful to you.

I am sure that if you ask God to move you without pain and with happiness this would happen.

Saying your prayer is how Mormonism started. It's also something that Mormon missionaries use to gain converts.
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« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2011, 09:55:09 PM »

Not that my opinion matters, but I wouldnt say you are a bad person.  Ive heard you shouldnt miss Church more than three times, but Im not even completely comfortable with that yet.  I mean, of course you shouldnt miss three times in a row for no reason, but sometimes things come up that you have to take care of.  Im sure, in this tough economy, some people have had to work on Sundays in order to provide for their families which forces them to miss Church. 

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« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2011, 10:20:33 PM »

So you are trying to move to Eastern Orthodox from Armenian Orthodox?
Huh? Isn't this a general Orthodox section, like for both to talk? I have not gotten chrismated yet. I should be studying Spanish, not Armenian. Sad (Hard to follow anything by the liturgy in the local Armenian church. If I go to this Armenian church, I will be stressed about the lack of study time before my study group, still get similarly little sleep and probably be rude about showing up late to sit through a sermon I understand five words of.) The Coptic church starts service in just over 2 hours (why I haven't been able to make it because I just can't be on time for an 8 AM service right now). The EOs near me start service in just over 4 hours. I don't care that much about the theological differences (and I am sure someone somewhere could lecture me about that beyond the lack of intercommunion).
It's ok, psadi's just... being psadi. All Orthodox are welcome here.

I miss church constantly. I know how you feel.  Sad I wish I had some advice for you, but I'll be praying.
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« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2011, 10:51:03 PM »

Am I a horrible person because I am missing church for the second or third week in a row? It is 4:30 AM and I have to do well on a test this week and have only the weekend to study (this test is for a job, not a class that I can just get a C in).

Missing church is never good;  However, I would be a hypocrite if I were to judge you on this, since I missed a lot of church to study during my college years.

My advice would be to try not to miss more than one week at a time.  I found while I was at college that if I missed two or more weeks, it would get easier and easier to stay away from church.  You don't want to get into into that situation.

Also, when you do miss church, at least try to say a couple of prayers.  The Lord's Prayer, of course is good, and you may want to also say the Student's Prayer, written by St. Gregory of Datev:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13200.msg205477.html#msg205477

If you find yourself up in the early hours of the morning, with that desperate feeling you get when studying at two in the morning for a test (I know that feeling well) you may want to say the some of the sunrise prayers written by St. Nerses Shnorhali:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13200.msg183101.html#msg183101

And then of course there are the 24 short prayers written by St. Nerses:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13200.msg199055.html#msg199055

If you don't feel you can pray all of them at once, pick one or two and pray them



In other words, don't stay away from church for too long, and keep praying even when you are not in church.

I wish you well on your tests.   Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2011, 02:22:09 AM »

Salpy, you are the man!

What does the bold part mean? "O Light!  Born of the Light, righteous Sun, ineffable generation, Son of the Father, Thy name is praised with the Father before the sun.  At the rising of the morning light, shine forth upon our souls Thine intelligible light."

Gorazd, that is one reason I don't go to a large non-denominational church any more. Sometimes grace is hard to see and we need others to help show us that. Thank you.

Melodist, great point about Mormonism.

Thank you friends.
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« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2011, 04:15:45 AM »

The great thing about Orthodoxy is the mandatory options we have. We have to go to Church, but it's optional. No one is holding a gun to our heads. Being at Liturgy is good for our souls and we are the only ones who miss out when we don't go. Sometimes, however, other things can get in our way. Perhaps work or school or whatever. There have been times I've been on-call and had to leave Liturgy. When I was stationed in Japan, I rarely made it to Liturgy because the closest Church was over three hours away and I didn't have a car for the longest time.

I think it's dangerous to think "I have to go to Church or else" instead of "I want to go to Church." Orthodoxy is not meant to be legalistic. Sometimes other things come up and we are unable to make it. This, I think, is inevitable in a fallen world. Heck, even in monasteries, the monks sometimes miss Liturgy because of work. I would think that missing Liturgy shouldn't make us think "I'm a bad person because I missed it" but, instead, "I am disappointed that I am not able to go to worship God in the Temple." I think it sets up a different mindset.

Those are just my thoughts and, as always, I could be and probably am completely wrong.
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« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2011, 01:09:36 PM »

Am I a horrible person because I am missing church for the second or third week in a row? It is 4:30 AM and I have to do well on a test this week and have only the weekend to study (this test is for a job, not a class that I can just get a C in).

Your actions (or inactivity) do not make you a bad person.  Orthodox POV: You're a child of God.  Period.

Not attending Church is like voluntarily skipping sleep: it may seem superfluous and not as important as what you're working on, but it (the decision) can have negative effects on your life.  When you skip sleep, you rob your body and mind of restorative time, and can feel symptoms like hallucinations, decreased attention span, inability to make difficult decisions, and more.  Skipping sleep can have the same effects, and to the same magnitude, as excessive consumption of alcohol. 

The same can be true of skipping Liturgy, with the effects felt spiritually.  Skipping Liturgy deprives you of the scripture, the opportunity to worship with your local community, your chance to imitate the angels (in song and worship), a moment of peace in a hectic week, the chance to pray for those in distress (yourself included) and for those who have passed on; and, when you're Orthodox, skipping Church means depriving yourself of the life-giving, sin-forgiving, and unifying Body and Blood of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ.

In the end it's your choice, but it's one that should be fully considered, with all ramifications weighed appropriately.
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« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2011, 02:28:42 PM »

Your actions (or inactivity) do not make you a bad person.  Orthodox POV: You're a child of God.  Period.


I think we can all benefit from this reminder from time to time.

Thank you, Father. Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2011, 06:41:22 PM »

Salpy, you are the man!
For future reference, Salpy is female.

I wish you the best of luck. Honestly though, I cannot possibly give you better advice than what others here are giving you. I hope all goes well for you.
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« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2011, 06:55:31 PM »

There are many who must miss church because they have to work. Even in monasteries, some monastics have obediences which keep them busy away from church services sometimes. The key thing, I think, however, having been a student for many years myself, is to try and make some time for going to church each week--whether on Sunday or some other day for prayer, particularly in liturgy or a corporate service. As the Lord says, the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. After missing church for awhile and coming back, it often becomes clear to us just how much we need these services--more than sleeping or eating or anything else. That said, if you have a task you absolutely must do, there's a blessing for that. But it's up to you to discern if it is essential that you must miss church due to work, sickness, etc. If you are in need of advice, contact your priest. That is what God has put him there for, to help people. God be with you in your studies and work!
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« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2011, 09:09:00 PM »

Salpy, you are the man!

What does the bold part mean? "O Light!  Born of the Light, righteous Sun, ineffable generation, Son of the Father, Thy name is praised with the Father before the sun.  At the rising of the morning light, shine forth upon our souls Thine intelligible light."


I always took it to mean that we are asking Christ to fill us with His goodness and love.  I'm not sure what is meant by intelligible.  It probably has some deep theological meaning.   Smiley  The Classical Armenian word used is imanali, which I am assuming is somehow related to imasdootioon, which means wisdom, but I'm not sure.
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